Tag Archives: Montana

June 29, 2015 Sue Lake, Glacier National Park.

My 10 Most-Read Adventure Stories

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By Michael Lanza

Like anyone who runs a blog and website, I keep track of which stories generate the most interest among my readers—including which destinations and outdoor adventures they most want to read about. And I realize that you, my readers, may be curious to know what other visitors to The Big Outside are reading. Using my blog’s current analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read stories about trips I’ve taken, with a link to each full story at The Big Outside.

I have to say, it’s a pretty darn good list of adventure trips. Read on and see for yourself.

Continue reading →

June 11, 2015 Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: How Hard Are the Trails in Glacier National Park?

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Dear Michael,

I am heading to Glacier National Park for the first time this August, planning dayhikes based out of the Many Glacier campsite. I’m confident in my abilities to easily handle all of these hikes but one: Logan Pass to Many Glacier in a day. There are two reasons for my doubt. The first is that I am from Columbus, Ohio. We are at an average elevation of about 270 meters. Obviously, the thinner air at elevation in Glacier is going to take its toll; that will be the highest I have ever been. The second reason is that I’ve only done one comparable hike (I think it compares), which was to the summit of Mount LeConte via the Alum Cave Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. That was about 11 miles round trip, and about 2,800 feet gained on the way up. It was a challenge, sure, but less than I expected and I actually had quite a lot in reserve by the time we returned to the trailhead. Continue reading →

May 11, 2015 Hamilton Lakes, High Sierra Trail, Sequoia National Park.

Photo Gallery: 15 Nicest Backcountry Campsites I’ve Hiked Past

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By Michael Lanza

It is one of those unfortunate inevitabilities of life, like death and taxes: Occasionally on backpacking trips you will hike past one of the most sublime patches of wilderness real estate you have ever laid eyes on, a spot so idyllic you can already see your tent pitched there and you standing outside it, warm mug in your hands, watching a glorious sunset. But it’s early and your plan entails hiking farther before you stop for the day—not camping there. Or even worse, you are looking for a campsite, but someone else has already occupied this little corner of Heaven. Continue reading →

May 10, 2015 Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana.

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

High above Gunsight Lake on Glacier National Park’s Gunsight Pass Trail, beneath a bluebird sky, I got this photo of my wife, Penny, standing on a ledge along a stretch where the trail makes a long traverse of a cliff face. A little while later, we passed a mountain goat grazing trailside. Popular with backpackers for its scenery, easy access, and relatively low commitment for distance, the 20-mile traverse of the Gunsight Pass Trail can be done in a day by fit hikers, because of its moderate grades and good footing. And what a spectacular day it is—an unforgettable way to sample Glacier National Park if you have the legs for it. Continue reading →

April 13, 2015 MLanzaGla4-057

Photo Gallery: Backpacking Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

If you have ever backpacked in Glacier National Park, you know you want to return. If you haven’t yet, then why not? One of America’s flagship national parks, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers because of the rare variety of wildlife, remoteness, and eye-popping scenery—as my photo gallery below from a 90-mile, trip of a lifetime in northern Glacier shows. Apply for a backcountry permit by April 15 for the best chances of getting your desired itinerary, especially if it includes some of the park’s more popular areas (see below). Continue reading →

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